A captured German training pamphlet contains the following information
regarding the duties of the crew of a Mark IV tank, and the means of
1. DUTIES OF THE CREW
The crew consists of five men—a commander, a gunner, a
loader, a driver, and a radio operator who is also the hull machine-gunner.
The tank commander, who is an officer or senior noncom, is responsible for
the vehicle and the crew. He indicates targets to the gunner, gives fire
orders, and observes the fall of shots. He keeps a constant lookout for the
enemy, observes the zone for which he is responsible, and watches for any orders
from the commander's vehicle. In action, he gives his orders to the driver and
radio operator by intercommunication telephone, and to the gunner and loader
by touch signals or through a speaking tube. He receives orders by radio or
flag, and reports to his commander by radio, signal pistol, or flag.
The gunner is second in command. He fires the turret gun, the turret machine gun, or
the machine carbine, as ordered by the tank commander. He assists the tank commander in
The loader loads and maintains the turret armament under the orders of the gunner. He is
also responsible for care of ammunition, and—when the cupola is
closed—gives any flag signals required. He replaces the radio operator
if the latter becomes a casualty.
The driver operates the vehicle under the orders of the tank commander, or in accordance
with orders received by radio from the commander's vehicle. So far as possible, he
assists in observation, reporting over the intercommunication telephone the
presence of the enemy or of any obstacles in the path of the tank. He watches
the fuel consumption and is responsible to the tank commander for the care and
maintenance of the vehicle.
The radio operator operates the radio set under the orders of the tank commander. In
action, when not actually transmitting, he always keeps the radio set at "receive." He
operates the intercommunication telephone and writes down any radio messages not sent
or received by the tank commander. He fires the machine gun mounted in the front
superstructure. He takes over the duties of the loader if the latter becomes a casualty.
The following means of intercommunication are available:
External: Voice radio and key radio, flag signals, hand
signals, signal pistol, and flashlight.
Internal: Intercommunication telephone, speaking tube, and touch signals.
The maximum distance for satisfactory voice radio communication between two moving
vehicles is about 3 3/4 miles, and for satisfactory key radio communication
about 6 1/4 miles.
Flag signals are used for short-distance communications only, and a flashlight is used at
night. The signal pistol is used for prearranged signals—chiefly to other arms, such
as the infantry.
The radio set, in conjunction with the intercommunication telephone, provides the
tank commander, radio operator, and driver with a means for external and internal
voice communication. The same microphones and telephone receiver headsets are used
in both cases.
When the control switch on the radio is set at Empfang (receive), and that
on the junction box of the intercommunication telephone at Bord und Funk
(internal and radio—that is, intercommunication telephone and external
voice or key radio), the commander, radio operator, and driver hear all
incoming voice radio signals. Any of these men can also speak to the other
two after switching his microphone into the circuit by means of the switch
on his chest.
For voice radio transmission, the switch on the radio set is adjusted
to Telephonic (telephone). The telephone switch may be left at
Bord und Funk. Either the tank commander or the radio operator
can then transmit, and both they and the driver will hear the messages
transmitted. Internal communication is also possible at the same time, but
the conversation will be transmitted.
If the radio set is disconnected or out of order, the telephone switch
may be adjusted to Bord (internal). The tank commander and driver
can then speak to one another, and the radio operator can speak to them, but
cannot hear what they say. This also applies when a radio receiver is
available, but no transmitter, with the difference that incoming voice
radio signals can then be heard by the radio operator.
The signal flags are normally carried in holders on the left of the driver's
seat. When the cupola is open, flag signals are given by the tank commander; when
it is closed, the loader raises the circular flap in the left of the turret roof
and signals with the appropriate flag through the port thus opened. Flag signals
are given in accordance with a definite code, the meaning of any signal depending
on the color of the flag used and whether the flag is held still or moved
in a particular way.
Pistol signals are given through the signal port in the turret roof, through
the cupola, or through one of the vision openings in the turret wall. The signal
pistol must not be cocked until the barrel is already projecting outside the
tank. It is normally used only when the tank is at the halt. The main function
of this means of communication is the giving of prearranged signals to the
infantry or other troops.
When the tank is traveling at night, with lights dimmed or
switched off altogether, driving signals are given with the
aid of a dimmed flashlight. The same method is also employed when
tanks are in a position of readiness and when leaguered (in bivouac).
Orders are transmitted from the tank commander to the gunner by means
of speaking-tube and touch signals. The latter also used for messages
from the commander to the loader, a between the gunner and loader.